Loosely based on the life of the famed poet and author, the film follows him from childhood as an adopted son of a Virginia tobacco dealer to his early death from alcoholism. The story attempts to blame a lot of Poe's later problems on his mistreatment by his foster father. Shepperd plays
the mature Poe who is jilted by his childhood sweetheart, Gilmore, for a more affluent man. He eventually marries his first cousin, Darnell, before drinking himself to death. The entire cast gives competent performances, though the story focuses little on the romantic relations the title promises.
The script suffers from weaknesses in motivation.